Ogunquit - Beautiful Place By The Sea
Picture a postcard...a pristine beach, waves crashing into granite cliffs, evergreens rising above the birch trees. Now, picture yourself in the postcard. Known to the Abenaki tribe as "beautiful place by the sea", Ogunquit is forever living up to its name.
Whether it's a breathtaking view of the seascape, an image of a lobster boat passing through the hand-operated drawbridge in Perkins Cove, or one of Ogunquit's fragrant and meticulously manicured gardens…there's a potential postcard with every step.
Artists discovered Ogunquit's inspirational scenery over a century ago. They helped transform the quaint fishing hamlet into one of the most picturesque and enjoyed seaside resort villages in New England.
While the artist's provide an array of fine collectibles and artwork sought throughout the East Coast and displayed in our intimate museums, it's the world-class beach and magnificent coastline that attract visitors from around the globe.
The mouth of the tidal Ogunquit River separates three miles of white sandy beach from the craggy granite ledge which dives into the Atlantic. Millions of visitors have walked the Marginal Way, a scenic cliff-walk that meanders along the ocean for over a mile.
Ogunquit has everything for every type of traveler. Lodging choices range from cozy B&B's and inns to fine hotels, resorts and spas. Theater lovers flock to the many playhouses for the summer stock performances. Shoppers rave about the assortment of galleries, boutiques and gift shops and discriminating diners have an abundant selection of fine restaurants to satisfy nearly every taste - including lobster!
Recreation enthusiasts love Ogunquit because our front yard is an ocean and our backyard is the "Vacationland" known as Maine. You can try deep-sea fishing, cast a rod into the river, even learn about trapping lobster with a licensed captain or play a round of golf at some of New England's top rated courses. Sailing, sea kayaking and whale watching are popular activities as well as hiking nearby Mount Agamenticus or the Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm.
Whether it's a romantic retreat, a family escape to the beach or an outdoor adventure, Ogunquit is your premier destination.
The Marginal Way
In 1925, the magnificent Marginal Way was given as a gift to the Town of Ogunquit by Josiah Chase of York and is now a paved footpath beginning (or ending) in a corner of Oarweed Cove near the harbor, then running for 1 ¼ miles to the marvelous expanse of Ogunquit Beach. Once called "the margin" because of its patterned development along the rocky edge of the cliff, the origin and preservation of this truly precious piece of natural beauty was not the result of far-sighted conservation planning, but of the dealings of a shrewd businessman and some stubborn, persuasive "locals." This delightful, exhilarating walk meanders by tangled bayberry and bittersweet bushes, gnarled shrubs of fragrant pink and white sea roses, shaded alcoves formed by wind-twisted trees jutting out onto high granite outcroppings, and humbling views of the mighty Atlantic with its varying seasonal moods. Although the bends and inclines along the way are rather gentle, most walkers will choose one of the thirty memorial benches dotting the path to sit and rest, to contemplate and sometimes to paint the panorama of sea, surf and sky which daily unfolds amid noisy protests from the roiling ocean and screeching gulls. After a freak storm damaged the path in 1991, the Committee to Restore the Marginal Way and a capital fund were established to ensure its continued preservation and maintenance. Each year more than 100,000 people take this scenic path along the rugged cliff line, and, while Maine has several similar ocean walkways, Ogunquit's Marginal Way is undoubtedly the most unique, the most popular, the most painted and the most beloved.
There is currently a moratorium on the placement of benches along the Marginal Way; this moratorium has been in effect for a number of years. We will take names and addresses of interested people in case there should ever be another program such as this, but just to let you know, the list as of this date has over 80 people on it. If you would like to be put on the list, please submit your name, address and telephone #. We also are currently taking donations to restore the storm-ravaged Marginal Way. The Marginal Way Committee is doing a fund raiser, where a plaque with names will be placed somewhere on the path. A final design has not been determined as of this date. The donation level for the plaque is $2,500.
Administrative Assistant to the Town Manager
PO Box 875, Ogunquit, ME 03907
With the building of a bridge across the Ogunquit River in 1888, visitors began flocking to this magnificent 3½ mile expanse of clean, powdery white sand. Ogunquit residents, soon becoming fearful that their treasured beach would become inaccessible and privately owned with the proposed development of homes and amusement parks, daringly petitioned and pleaded with the State Legislature to cede the area between the Ogunquit River and the ocean to the Town. This was eventually granted and, at a cost of some $45,000, the entire area was acquired and designated a public park. As of 1938, Ogunquit's lovely beach was one of only two municipally owned beaches in the State of Maine. Because of its vast expanses, the town continues to guard, maintain and oversee its preservation and has limited entrance to the beach from just 3 locations: the Main Beach, with access from Beach Street; Footbridge Beach, reached from Ocean Street via a lovely, arched pedestrian bridge, and Ogunquit North Beach abutting Moody Beach and accessed from Bourne Avenue in Wells. It is not uncommon to find visitors and residents alike standing awestruck on this immaculate, uncluttered stretch of silky sand, preserved for future generation to marvel at such beauty.
In the early days of settlement when fishing and shipping were the main means of livelihood, Perkins Cove, or Fish Cove as it was then called, was an integral part of these growing industries. However, at that time it was open to the erratic Atlantic putting ships and land in constant danger from high seas and flood tides. The Fish Cove Association was formed and managed to buy some adjacent bits of land, cut a channel through to the Josias River which flows into the Cove and reconfigure its shape to form the sheltered, calm anchorage now enjoyed by fisherman and boating enthusiasts alike. Perhaps the best- known feature of Perkins Cove is the unique draw-footbridge which spans the entry to one of the loveliest little harbors on the Maine coast. Manual operation of the bridge is the duty of the Harbormaster, but many a lobsterman or fisherman has performed the task, as well as countless visitors, especially children, who wait anxiously for a high-masted boat to necessitate its raising. Visitors to the Cove can also enjoy the myriad of art galleries, fine specialty shops and boutiques, and the spate of excellent restaurants within sight and sound of the sea. Here one can begin a "trek" on the Marginal Way, hop on a colorful trolley for a leisurely tour of the Town, or just relax and watch entranced as various vignettes unfold in the everyday life of this bustling port. Maine has few small harbors that show such constant activity and none more picturesque than Perkins Cove - another "gem" in the crown of Ogunquit Village.